Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, November 28, 2005

More on ICCC

Michael White, the webmaster at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, writes with a bit more info about the site. It actually started when Patricia Kneisler posted a table showing Coalition military casualties in Iraq on Daily Kos. Michael saw the post and contacted Patricia, the rest is history. Michael says (a bit less colorfully) that he knew an insurgency would emerge even as the Mighty Conqueror was landing on that aircraft carrier wearing his Mighty Codpiece. This is a real success story for Daily Kos as a networking site -- I am registered there and I used to visit quite a bit and contribute to the discussions, but who has time to keep that up?* Apparently a lot of people -- and more and more all the time, as you will know if you've been following Kos. As Michael writes about ICCC:

How do we find the time? Pat and I both have full time jobs that have nothing to do with Iraq, the military, journalism, etc. We just make the time and don't get enough sleep. We are fortunate that we are assisted by a volunteer (Evan) who post news to the site while we are working. Each day at lunch I go to the nearest wifi coffee shop and check emails and post updates.

Many people have what I once thought were wild visions of the Internet as a democratizing technology. But maybe those visions weren't so wild after all. Now anyone can publish, with minimal capital investment. Bloggers and site-builders like Kos have created a new mechanism for holding the corporate media accountable and channels for engaged citizens to discuss issues, build alliances, and even broadcast information and ideas to thousands or hundreds of thousands of readers, if their work is sufficiently compelling.

But, while a blog only has to cost the proprietor as much time as she or he chooses to invest, a more complex site like ICCC takes a lot of time and some actual money. So Michael does have a request:

Anything I'd like revealed? I long to have more time to add features to the site (a listing of post Iraq suicides, mapping daily attacks - Iraqi and coalition, etc). The only way these features are going to get included is if I can gather enough donations to pay for me to take time off from my paying job to work on the site.

So here's another good cause -- I know, there are far too many -- with potentially good bang for the buck.

*(Alas, one of the reasons I spend less time at Kos is that I just couldn't get people there interested in public health and health care reform. These, it seems to me, are rich sources of winning issues for Democrats and progressive candidates. Nevertheless, I have the opportunity to keep yelling and screaming here and at Kos, and who knows, maybe some day national health care will be back on the progressive agenda.)

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